Operational Planning: The Key to Building a Culture of Implementation and Focus


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Ever wonder why organizations lose focus as their strategic plans gather dust on the shelf?

Ever wonder how to keep everyone on the same page during implementation, and preserve the energy and excitement generated during the strategic planning process?

Want to build a culture of focus that can knit together key organizational processes (planning, communications, evaluation and organizational learning) for sustainable high performance?

Tired of that "flying by the seat of our pants feeling?"

Successful organizations make the shift from "what" (visioning) to "how" (implementation) by building the infrastructure of implementation.

Join me in a practical discussion of what you can do create a focused, effective organization.

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Operational Planning: The Key to Building a Culture of Implementation and Focus

  1. 1. Operational Planning: The Key to Building a Culture of Implementation and Focus Anthony Reese February 13, 2013A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  2. 2. INTEGRATED PLANNING Advising nonprofits in: www.synthesispartnership.com • Strategy • Planning (617) 969-1881 • Organizational Development info@synthesispartnership.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  3. 3. Affordable collaborative data management in the cloud.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  4. 4. Today’s Speaker Anthony Reese CFO and Vice President of Financial Management PracticeAssisting with chat questions: Olive Grove Consulting Hosting:Jamie Maloney, Nonprofit Webinars Sam Frank, Synthesis PartnershipA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  6. 6. Between the Idea And the RealityBetween the Motion And the Act Falls the Shadow --T.S.Eliot
  7. 7. The questions seem eternal:“Why do so many organizations suffer from internal instability and a lack of focus on program outcomes?” “What investment can you make to generate organizational focus, stability, and efficacy?”
  8. 8. ACHIEVING ORGANIZATIONAL FOCUS Organizational Life Cycle Entrepreneurial Institutionalizing Mature Reorganizing
  9. 9. Resource Allocations Evaluation Program theory Staff AllocationsActivities/Events Assumptions
  10. 10. How Do We Achieve Focus and Coordinated Action?
  11. 11. OPERATIONAL PLANNING: THE MISSING PIECE• A critical companion to strategic planning.• A method of shaping a sustainable organizational Operational Planning culture and creating focus.• The seminal element of creating a culture of implementation.
  12. 12. COMPONENTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNING Operational planning engages key internal audiences in a comprehensive process to:• Identify Focus - by translating strategic goals into a specific one-year implementation plan containing timelines, roles, responsibilities and measurable outcomes.• Maintain Focus – by creating processes for planning, communications, evaluation, and organizational learning to manage the implementation of the annual plan.
  13. 13. IDENTIFYING FOCUS Identifying focus requires engaging the expertise and experience of the staff and senior management to operationalize the Board of Director’s strategic vision into a detailed one-year implementation plan• Mission – What is the role of each department in achieving the organizational mission?• Goals – What each department must achieve to both meet existing commitments and move the organization one year closer to the strategic plan goals?• Measurable Objectives - What broad areas of activity must be pursued to reach the goals? What conditions will indicate that success was achieved?• Learning Agenda – What key questions does each department need to answer to improve its operations?
  14. 14. IDENTIFYING FOCUS Once major goals and objectives have been identified and agreed upon, a deeper level of planning ensues in order to yield program and individual action plans that contain:• Action Steps – The tasks required to complete each objective.• Task Responsibilities – The staff person assigned to the action step.• Preliminary Timetables for Completion - The time horizon and due date of each action step.
  15. 15. REVISION YEAR• Board performs external environmental scan • Board conducts community needs assessment/survey • Board reviews similar organizations• Board performs internal environmental scan report (using staff input)• Board meets at triennial strategic planning retreat• Board reviews operational results from first three years of previous strategic plan• Board evaluates Org. X strengths and weaknesses• Board develops new five year plan Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5• Limited external environmental scan• Board receives summary of operational results and recommendations from the ED• Board makes one year adjustments to strategic plan if necessary• Board directs the Executive Director to develop an operational plan based on resource and policy adjustments• Executive Director prepares draft operational plan (program plan and budget) for board approval• At mid-year board reviews program and financial performance
  16. 16. FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN Annual Operational Plans Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Prog. 1 Prog. 2Program Plans Prog. 3 Prog. 4 Prog. 5 Prog. 6 Prog. 7
  17. 17. YEAR 1 OPERATIONAL PLANProg. 1 Prog. 2 Prog. 3 Prog. 4 Prog. 5 Prog. 6 Objective Person Responsible Due Date • Action Step 1 AR 4/21/03 • Action Step 2 DC 6/03/03 • Action Step 3 LF 9/15/03 Objective Due Date •Action Step 1 4/21/03 •Action Step 2 •Action Step 3
  18. 18. MAINTAINING FOCUS Building and maintaining the infrastructure of focusrequires formalizing and calendaring the key processesthat support implementation, efficacy and sustainability. Planning Communications Evaluation Organizational Learning
  19. 19. MAINTAINING FOCUS• Planning - The process and path of organizational decision-making regarding philosophy, programs and resources.• Communications - The structures for routine communication of critical organizational information and feedback.• Evaluation - The processes for reviewing organizational, program, and individual performance.• Organizational Learning - The processes through which the organization learns from and improves upon its operations.
  20. 20. PRODUCTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNING• Annual implementation plan and summary of organizational focus• Departmental goals and objectives Departmental action plans• Individual work plans• Organizational calendar• Written frameworks and protocols Master schedule of organizational activities
  21. 21. PRODUCTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNINGAn annual implementation plan and summary of organizational focus…… which details targeted areas for organizationalperformance and learning.
  22. 22. PRODUCTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNINGDepartmental goals and objectives……including timelines and indicators of success.
  23. 23. PRODUCTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNING Departmental action plans……containing actionsteps, timelines, andresponsibilities
  24. 24. PRODUCTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNINGIndividual workplans……and updated jobdescriptions andpersonaldevelopment plans
  25. 25. PRODUCTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNINGAn organizational calendar…… containing key processes and events.
  26. 26. PRODUCTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNINGWritten frameworks and protocols… … for planning, communications, evaluation, and organizational learning.
  27. 27. PRODUCTS OF OPERATIONAL PLANNINGA master schedule of organizational activities…… sortable by staff person and due date.
  28. 28. OUTCOMES OF OPERATIONAL PLANNING Organizations that have undergone Operational Planning have enhanced their capacity to:• Communicate organizational priorities and achievements to funders and external audiences• Increase programmatic coordination• Anticipate peak periods in organizational workload• Manage external demands for programmatic expansion• Properly align resources with program objectives
  29. 29. OUTCOMES OF OPERATIONAL PLANNING Organizations that have undergone Operational planning have increased their capacity to:• Maintain staff and board focus on organizational objectives• Develop organization-wide standards/expectations regarding performance and success• Respond to emerging opportunities in their communities• Increase programmatic quality through capturing lessons learned and innovation• Retain staff and avoid Executive Director burnout
  30. 30. OPERATIONAL PLANNING SCOPE OF WORK Major engagement activities include:• Reviewing existing organizational culture, processes and materials• Facilitating group and individual meetings with staff to establish annual goals and organizational processes,• Constructing and analyzing process and planning documents• Assisting the development of an organizational budget• Coaching and skills transference to key staff• Providing follow-up monitoring and technical assistance.
  31. 31. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by: